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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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Higgledy-Piggledy             223

Providence and Othello

Providence, in making the rain fall also upon the sea,
was like the man who, when he was to play Othello, must
needs black himself all over.

Providence and Improvidence

We should no longer say: Put your trust in Providence,
but in Improvidence, for this is what we mean.


To put one's trust in God is only a longer way of saying
that one will chance it.


There is nothing so imprudent or so improvident as over-
prudence or over-providence.


If Providence could be seen at all, he would probably
turn out to be a very disappointing person—a little wizened
old gentleman with a cold in his head, a red nose and a com-
forter round his neck, whistling o'er the furrow'd land or
crooning to himself as he goes aimlessly along the streets,
poking his way about and loitering continually at shop-
windows and second-hand book-stalls.


Like Wisdom, Fortune crieth in the streets, and no man
regardeth. There is not an advertisement supplement
to the Times—nay, hardly a half sheet of newspaper that
comes into a house wrapping up this or that, but it gives
information which would make a man's fortune, if he could
only spot it and detect the one paragraph that would do
this among the 99 which would wreck him if he had anything
to do with them.